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Location, Location, Location. Alternatives to the traditional living space fireplace

Location, Location, Location. Alternatives to the traditional living space fireplace

When we think about having a cosy woodburning stove we probably all think of having a traditional fireplace in a living room. Following on from our blog all about alternatives to a traditional fireplace, we have also seen an increased number of stoves going in to more unusual locations!

The spike in popularity of log cabins, yurts, camping pods and summer houses has meant a rise in the number of mini-stoves we have seen being installed in to these types of structure. The nature of these outdoor installations means that they are unable to be connected to mains heating and therefore using a mini wood-burner is an ideal solution. Creating a cosy, warm feeling inside an otherwise “outdoor” space. These types of installation usually require either a heat shield panel if against wood or in the case of a yurt they’re almost always positioned in the centre of the structure.

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We have also seen a recent increase in the number of installations of stoves in other rooms in peoples’ homes, we’ve enjoyed installing recent projects in both conservatories and bedrooms.

Conservatory installations provide a great focal point and another usable living space which in winter months may otherwise be neglected. Conservatories are often cold and closed off in winter as heating a big glass space can be costly. By installing a wood burning stove you are providing a heating source that is not only a fantastic design feature but is also a clean air compliant appliance which will help combat climate change by using clean burn technology.

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Bedrooms, although this may seem unusual, are actually quite a traditional setting for a fire. In homes – before central heating – a lot of people had a fireplace in the bedroom and many homes still do have this as a decorative feature. The trend towards re-opening these fireplaces and chimneys and then fitting a beautiful EcoDesign Ready stove means that your bedroom is always toasty and warm. Lazy Sunday mornings are elevated to a whole new level of comfort with a stove and kettle topper, at this time of year you need not even venture downstairs to snuggle up by the wood-burner if you have one in your bedroom!

We have a full range of stoves in our showroom, from mini stoves for your holiday pod to a large conservatory warmer.

Summer Sweeping and Servicing

Summer Sweeping and Servicing

Summer is the perfect time to sweep and service your stove ready for the chill in the air come September..

Happily, during this barmy summer weather its unlikley you’ll be needing to fire up your stove, it is however really important to leave it in a state that prevents condensation, and as a consequence corrosion. It’s ideal to take this opportunity to get your stove cleaned, serviced and ready for when the nights draw in.

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It’s really important for the life of your stove that you have the stove and flue thoroughly swept out annually.

Makesure that all sooty deposits are removed from sitting on the top side of the baffle or throat plate. Remove all the loose parts in your stove and give the fire-box a good vacuum, check the condition of the firebricks and replace if they are broken or have cracks right through the brick. Hairline cracks are not a worry but you must keep an eye on them for deterioration.

Check that the door rope seals still provide and air tight seal; once all parts are back in place you can check this by closing the door, opening the vents and then holding a candle flame to the door edges and taking it around all sides.  If the flame is being sucked-in to the door it indicates that air is being drawn through the door seal and replacement rope is likely needed.

 Open all the vents while not in used during the warmer months maintaining ventilation in the flue system to prevent condensation which leads to erosion. Spraying the inside of the door and firebox with a light oil such as WD40 will also help to keep all internal parts working well while the appliance is not in use.

 

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We talked to our sweep of choice Thomas from Stovely and he gave us his top tips for keeping your stove working well and being fire ready for Autumn. 

“When your chimney sweep arrives to do the annual liner sweep and stove service, it’s an opportunity for you to find out how you’ve been getting on with the logs you’ve been burning and if you’ve got the right balance of air intake from the moment of lighting the stove, running it at the best heat level and allowing it to die down correctly at the end of the day. This is especially useful after your stove’s first winter. 

We can tell a lot from the deposits we remove during the liner sweep. We’re looking for soot that looks like black powder paint to know that the logs you’re burning have the right minimummoisture content and that you’re lighting and running the stove using the air vents correctly to run a fire that is not roaring flames but also not so starved of air that the logs are ‘slumbering’ and not fully combusting. 

On the other hand, if what we see are shiny, crispy and shard-like deposits it is likely your logs have too high a moisture content or you’re consistently running the stove with insufficient air being allowed into the stove, both of which mean the stove cannot generate the amount of heat required to fully combust the logs. It is likely in this scenario that sticky tar deposits can be seen in the stove interior and on the inside of the door and glass.

Consistently running the stove like this not only creates a less pleasant looking door glass but can become a fire and carbon monoxide risk. It also means the liner will tarr up and the stove is producing and expelling dangerous particulates into the atmosphere. Your chimney sweep will be able to advise you and if necessary, check the moisture content of your logs.

As part of a full stove service your sweep will also check your stove for wear and tear and carry-out the replacement of bricks and rope seals as necessary. As Stovely works closely with customers of Manor House Stoves together we can usually identify any required stove parts – even on the really old model stoves! – and get them ordered, as well as providing an annual sweep and service reminder right from the time of installation. To enquire about a sweep and service or set up an annual reminder please contact me at thomas@stovely.co.uk 07870662341″

Chesneys HEAT Outdoor Living range has arrived

Chesneys HEAT Outdoor Living range has arrived

Chesneys HEAT Outdoor Living range BBQ and outdoor heater appliance have arrived and are now on live display and sizzling in our showroom garden patio.

 

And our verdict is…WOW! They have brought together what we have all been waiting for: a fantastically controllable BBQ with a real wood outdoor heater that does not stream smoke into your eyes and actually keeps you warm.

Chesneys HEAT Outdoor Living beautifully brings together a sophisticated BBQ cooking appliance with an outdoor real fire heater. The BBQ Cook allows temperature control and has a variety of cooking modes including smoking, baking and Wok cooking.

“I love cooking on the HEAT barbecue. It provides a unique degree of temperature control, ease of use and variety of cooking modes that provides almost limitless opportunities for cooking different recipes. It’s very fast to light and emits very little smoke. Given the choice, I wouldn’t cook on any other barbecue.”

James Martin

 

And when the sun starts to drop you can continue to sit outside around the woodburning fire and extend these summer days late into the evening. The HEAT range incoprorates Chesneys award-winning stove technology to create an elegantly designed envirnomentally friendly outdoor heater.

There are four models in the Chesneys HEAT Outdoor Living range; HEAT 400 is a circular design with a 375mm diameter grill; HEAT 500 is the largest circular design with a grill size of 456mm diameter; HEAT 600 rectangular model has a grill size of 522mm(w) x 320mm(d); HEAT 700 is the biggest beast in the range with a party-sized 638mm(w) x 384mm(d) grill.

Since the launch at Chelsea Flower there has been a very positive response.. so if you’re intending to sizzle this summer then get your skates on to secure your HEAT.

Ecodesign 2020 – What is it, why and what does it mean for woodburning stoves?

What is it?

Ecodesign 2020 is the European Union’s programme for lowering emissions in the atmosphere and will be implemented across Europe from January 2020 (for independent boilers) and January 2022 for room-heater solid-fuel stoves.  DEFRA (the UK Department for Environment Fisheries and Rural Administration) has confirmed its commitment to Ecodesign following Brexit; the Great Repeal Bill will bring the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives into UK law. Therefore all solid fuel appliances will have to meet new Ecodesign 2020 testing criteria to not exceed specific limits of particles, as from 2022.

Why?

We all want to breathe clean air and fight against pollution from emissions. The overall aim therefore of Ecodesign 2020 is to lower the particulate matter released into the atmosphere and so improve air quality. Particulate matters include organic gaseous compounds (OGC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and, for some fuels, sulphur. Energy efficient appliances using quality wood fuels is a way of reducing the amount of partuculate matters discharged into the atmosphere.

What does it mean for wood burning stoves?

Findings from a research project ‘Supergen’ at Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Universities have shown clearly that old solid fuel appliances emit larger volumes of particulates whilst new clean-burn appliances burning the right fuels drastically reduce particulate emissions.

Recently published figures show that newly designed appliances can produce 90% less emissions than those of 20years ago and in comparison with open fires burning poor fuel. Modern appliances are highly engineered, clean, efficient and effective heating appliances and have improved as recently as 5-10years ago.

And the right fuel is integral to the efficiency and amounts of particulates emitted; laboratory testing showed an open fire burning wet wood produced four to five times the weight of particulates than burning dry wood in a similar open fire.

And so how to choose a stove?

Come into our showroom..

…we have expert staff to discuss the many models of stoves available and the efficiencies that they operate at. Customers can view HETAS approved stoves and Stove Industry Alliance ‘Ecodesign ready’ stoves to make an informed choice of stove that already meet some of the Ecodesign requirements ahead of the legislation.

Wood burning stoves are not all the same, buy confidently and intelligently

Further information can also be found on the HETAS website at www.hetas.co.uk.

Baby you can light my fire!

How to light the perfect fire in a wood burning stove

1. Wood burns best on a layer of ash so you always need to ensure there is a nice flat bed of ash at the base of the fire. This will of course not be possible if you have just bought your stove and it is the first time you are lighting it, but thereafter it is always best to leave at least some ash in the fire bed and is not advisable to burn straight onto the grate or base brick every time.

2. To get your fire started, you will need small pieces of wood called kindling. These small pieces create a good, strong flame which warms the chimney up and gets the inside of the stove hot enough to put your logs on. Softwood or kiln dried kindling is best and must not be treated or painted wood. The kindling must be spaced out evenly to allow a good airflow and we recommend 3 layers arranged in a criss-cross, or camp-fire fashion. You can buy kindling and natural fire lighters here.

3. When your stove is all laid up with firelighters and kindling, the next step is of course to light it. Using matches or a lighter, light the firelighters. Open the air controls on the stove and leave the door open ajar. Leaving the door open slightly will do 2 things. Firstly, it will ensure more air gets inside the stove so the kindling will light quicker and secondly, it should stop the glass from misting up as the air wash system in your stove will not be up to temperature yet to help keep the glass clear.

4. Make sure you start off with a couple of small logs to begin with as the stove is not up to temperature yet, putting a large piece of wood on may kill the fire. The same as with the kindling ensure they are spaced out evenly to allow a good airflow and not too close to the glass, as this can cause it to blacken up! Close the door on the stove and over the course of a few minutes; slowly close the air controls down. Try not to close them down entirely; this will smother the fire as there will be no oxygen to allow the fire to burn. Make sure the wood you are using is well seasoned and has not been treated with anything. You can buy wood here, or if you are seasoning your own wood, it is best to use a moisture meter so you know when your logs are dry enough to burn. IMPORTANT Only burn wood with less than 20% moisture. We sell moisture meters.

5. Last but not least, sit back and enjoy your stove!

Cooking Demo report…

Our cooking demonstration on Sat 14th of November was well attended. The Tubby Jacks were fired up prior to opening the showroom and some Plain Air Cured Bacon was first up.

Not surprisingly there was some good interest in this demonstration!!

We then added Tubby Jacks Hickory wood chips and hot smoked the bacon.

In a word, delicious, it is amazing how quickly the bacon took on the flavour of the hickory chips and with so many choices of flavour of wood chips we have a lot of experimenting to do !

Next up was plain pork sausages and again we used Hickory Chips to add some additional flavouring. We soon ran out of these and again the flavour was amazing.

We had some Pork Belly marinating overnight with some Star Anise, Szechuan peppercorn and honey. The Tubby Jacks handled this brilliantly, slow cooked for 1 hour then we opened up the vents and got the temperature cranked right up to for the last 5 mins to finish the charring. The pork was tender, juicy and sticky.

To finish off  we had some chicken wings in a home made Buffalo sauce.

The event was a roaring success and we were so busy we didn’t even get time to get a few pictures taken !

I can’t help wonder how excited the six people will be when they open their Christmas Presents this year to discover they have been given a Tubby Jacks for Christmas.